Akshaya Tritiya
A vintage religious token depicting Lord Rishabhanatha, accepting sugarcane juice from King Shreyans.
Official nameअक्षय तृतीया
Observed byJain, Hindu
TypeJains & Hindus
Observancesprayers, distribution of sugarcane juice and festive foods, and charity
DateVaisakha Shukla Tritiya
2023 date22 Apr (Sat)

Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akti or Akha Teej, is an annual Jain and Hindu spring festival.[3] It falls on the third tithi (lunar day) of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month of Vaisakha.[4][5][6]


King Shreyans offering sugarcane juice to Lord Rishabhanatha

Akshaya Tritiya is regionally observed as an auspicious day by Hindus and Jains in India;[7][8] it signifies the "third day of unending prosperity".[9] Akshaya Tritiya is considered auspicious by Hindus and Jains in many regions of India and Nepal for new ventures, marriages, charity, and in investments such as gold or other property.[10][11] It is also a day of remembrance for the loved ones who have died.[12] The day is regionally significant for women, married or unmarried, who pray for the well-being of the men in their lives or the one they may in future get engaged to. After prayers, they distribute germinating gram (sprouts), fresh fruits, and Indian sweets.[12][13] If Akshaya Tritiya falls on a Monday (Rohini), the festival is believed to be more auspicious.[13] Fasting, charity, and helping others on this day is another festive practice.[14]


In Sanskrit, the word akṣaya (अक्षय) means "never decreasing" in the sense of "prosperity, hope, joy, success", while tr̥tīyā (तृतीया) means "third phase of the moon".[15][9] It is so named since it falls on the third lunar day of the spring month of Vaisakha in the Hindu calendar, when it is observed.[13] The name refers to the belief that the benefits from performing devotion and piety on this day will not go away.[16]

Jain tradition

In Jainism, Akshaya Tritiya is an important festival as it commemorates the first Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha, ending his 400-day-long fast by consuming sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands. Śvetāmbara Jains perform a similar fast (but consume food on alternate days) that lasts 400 days. This practice is popularly known as Varshitapa.[14][17] Rishabhanatha renounced worldly pleasures and turned into a monk. Thereafter, he fasted for 400 days (as per the Śvetāmbara tradition) or six months (as per the Digambara tradition). He did not accept food from lay followers as every time he was given food, it was not 'free of faults' as it should be for a Jain monk to accept. The 42 faults that food given to a Jain monk may have are discussed at length in the ancient Śvetāmbara text Ācārāṅga Sūtra. [18]

When he was approaching Hastinapur, the capital city of King Shreyansha, the king saw a dream - A completely dark Mount Meru was turned brilliant by the sprinkling water from pitchers. King Shreyansha was the great-grandson of Rishabhanatha, the grandson of Bahubali, and the son of Somprabha. King Somprabha saw a dream where a man surrounded by enemies from all sides emerges victorious with Shreyansha's help. In the same town, Subuddhi, a merchant saw a dream where a thousand rays from the Sun were replaced by Shreyansha and as a result of this, the Sun became brighter. They all discussed their dreams in the royal assembly, but no one conclusion could be reached. Just then, Rishabhanatha entered Hastinapur. People tried to donate food and other valuable things, but he accepted none. [19]

Shreyansha performed pradakshina around him. On looking at Rishabhanatha's attire as a Jain monk (with a white cloth on his shoulder in Śvetāmbara accounts), Shreyansha soon attained Jati Smaran Gyan (the knowledge of previous births) which also led him to know the rituals of donating food to Jain monks, which he knew in his previous births. [20]

King Shreyansha's Previous Birth

In his previous birth, Shreyansha was the wife of Chakravartin Vajranabha (a previous birth of Rishabhanatha) in East Videha. King Shreyansha had seen the attire of a Tirthankara adopted by King Vajranabha's father Tirthankara Vajrasena, as he had adopted mendicancy from the latter. He also remembered the procedure to donate food to a Jain monk by keeping in mind that it is free from the 42 faults. [20]

Rishabhanatha Breaks His Fast

Since Shreyansha knew the rules of donating food to a Jain monk, he curated jars full of sugarcane juice that was already prepared, but not for Rishabhanatha as Jain monks must only accept food that is not specially prepared for them. He then told Rishabhanatha to accept the juice as it was suitable and free from faults. Rishabhanatha put his hands together to form a dish and Shreyansha emptied the pitchers of the juice in his hand while he consumed all of it and broke his fast. Not even a single drop of juice fell on the ground as Tirthankaras possess the kar-paatra labdhi (the power to use hands as dish without wasting any food put in them). Demi-gods and other creatures celebrated this event. [20]

On this day, Jains who observe the year-long alternate-day fasting known as varshitap finish their tapasya and break their fast by drinking sugarcane juice, particularly at pilgrimage sites such as Hastinapur, Palitana Temples, Kesariyaji Tirth, Ranakpur Jain temple, Kulpakji Tirth, and many other pilgrimage sites dedicated to Rishabhanatha. [14] Jains dedicate this day to donations and sacrifice.

Hindu tradition

Explanatory note
Hindu festival dates

The Hindu calendar is lunisolar but most festival dates are specified using the lunar portion of the calendar. A lunar day is uniquely identified by three calendar elements: māsa (lunar month), pakṣa (lunar fortnight) and tithi (lunar day).

Furthermore, when specifying the masa, one of two traditions are applicable, viz. amānta / pūrṇimānta. If a festival falls in the waning phase of the moon, these two traditions identify the same lunar day as falling in two different (but successive) masa.

A lunar year is shorter than a solar year by about eleven days. As a result, most Hindu festivals occur on different days in successive years on the Gregorian calendar.


The festival has related the presentation of the Akshaya Patra to Draupadi by the god Krishna during the visit of numerous sages, including the sage Durvasa. During their exile in the forest, the Pandava princes were famished due to the lack of food, and their wife Draupadi was pained by this because she could not extend the customary hospitality to their guests. Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava, prayed to the god Surya, who gave him this bowl, which would remain full till Draupadi served all of their guests. During the visit of the easily angered sage Durvasa, Krishna ate a small particle from the bowl, which deflected the wrath of the sage and saved the Pandavas from his curse.[21]

Birth of Parashurama

Akshaya Tritiya is believed by Hindus to be the birthday of Parashurama, the sixth avatar of the god Vishnu. He is revered in Vaishnava temples.[12] Those who observe it in honor of Parashurama sometimes refer to the festival as Parashurama Jayanti.[14] Alternatively, some focus their reverence on Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.[13]

According to one legend, the sage Vyasa began reciting the Hindu epic Mahabharata to the god Ganesha on Akshaya Tritiya. Another legend states that the river Ganges descended to earth on this day.[14] The Yamunotri Temple and Gangotri Temple are opened on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya during the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage, after closing down during the heavy snowfall-laden winters of the Himalayan regions. The temples are opened on Abhijit Muhurat of Akshaya Tritya.[22]

Yamunotri Temple and Gangotri Temple are opened on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.

Another event linked to the day is Sudama's visit to his childhood friend, Krishna in Dwarka when he received unlimited wealth as a boon. Kubera is believed to have appointed the god of wealth on this auspicious day.[23][24]

Akshaya Tritiya is of importance in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is one of the Sadetin Muhurtas (Three and a half auspicious and holiest festival days in the Marathi calendar). People in Maharashtra consider these days as the days to start anything new as it is believed that the work started on Akshaya Tritiya brings long lasting success. People start new businesses, buy houses and women buy gold on this day. People celebrate this festival with family, and worship gods and goddesses by offering food such as Naivedhya consisting of the Maharashtrian Puran Poli (Roti/bread stuffed with jaggery and lentil mix) and Aamras (A thick mango puree).

In Odisha, Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated during the commencement of the sowing of rice paddy for the ensuing Kharif season. The day starts with ritual worship of mother Earth, the bullocks, and other traditional farm equipment and seeds by the farmers for the blessings of a good harvest. After ploughing the fields, the farmers sow paddy seeds as the symbolic start for the most important Kharif crop of the state. This ritual is called Akhi Muthi Anukula (Akhi- Akshaya Tritiya; Muthi- fistful of paddy; Anukula- commencement or inauguration) and is celebrated with much fanfare throughout the state. In recent years, the event has received much publicity due to ceremonial Akhi Muthi Anukula programs organized by farmers' organizations and political parties. The construction of chariots for the Ratha Yatra festivities of Jagannath Temple also commences on this day at Puri.[13][25][26]

In the Telugu-speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the festival is associated with prosperity and charity. Simhachalam temple observes special festive rituals on this day. The main deity of the temple is covered in sandalwood paste for the rest of the year, and only on this day are the layers of sandalwood applied to the deity removed to show the underlying statue. Display of the actual form or Nija Roopa Darsanam happens on this day.[27]

This day is auspicious for those who buy rice, deposit money in a bank account, buy any kind of new things or vessels - visiting temples, donating foods or special offers for poor people, or helping poor children for their education fees, all are good signs for Akshaya Tritiya.[28]

See also



  1. ^ 2020 "2020 Akshaya Tritiya, Akha Teej Date and Time for New Delhi, NCT, India".
  2. ^ "2021 Akshaya Tritiya, Akha Teej Date and Time for New Delhi, NCT, India".
  3. ^ "Akshaya Tritiya 2017: Here is Why it is of significance in Hinduism and the reason behind people buying Gold on this day!". NewsGram. 28 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Akshaya Tritiya 2023: Why is Akshaya Tritiya celebrated, what does the Bhavishya Purana say?". Yugantar Pravah. Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  5. ^ "What are the auspicious events that happened on Akshaya Tritiya?". Bru Times News.
  6. ^ Publishing, Bloomsbury (13 September 2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations [2 volumes]. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-59884-206-7.
  7. ^ Gupte 1994, p. 5
  8. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 65.
  9. ^ a b P. M. Joseph (1997). Jainism in South India. International School of Dravidian Linguistics. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-81-85692-23-4.
  10. ^ Magazine, New Spolight. "Akshaya Tritiya 2022: Importance And Significance In Nepal". SpotlightNepal. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  11. ^ "Akshaya Tritiya". Eshwar Bhakti. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  12. ^ a b c B. A. Gupte (1994). Hindu Holidays and Ceremonials: With Dissertations on Origin, Folklore, and Symbols. Asian Educational Services. pp. 5–6. ISBN 978-81-206-0953-2.
  13. ^ a b c d e K V Singh (2015). Hindu Rites and Rituals: Origins and Meanings. Penguin. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-93-85890-04-8.
  14. ^ a b c d e J. Gordon Melton (2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. pp. 18–20. ISBN 978-1-59884-206-7.
  15. ^ A.A. Macdonell, Akshaya[permanent dead link], A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary
  16. ^ Publishing, Bloomsbury (13 September 2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations [2 volumes]. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-59884-206-7.
  17. ^ Prakash ‘Babloo’, Dr Ravi (11 September 2021). Indian Philosophy and Religion. K.K. Publications.
  18. ^ "Jaina Sutras, Part I (SBE22): Âkârâṅga Sûtra: Book II, Lecture 1, Lesson 1". sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  19. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (20 September 2017). "Part 6: Continuation of Ṛṣabha's life as a sādhu". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  20. ^ a b c www.wisdomlib.org (20 September 2017). "Part 7: The fast-breaking of Ṛṣabha". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  21. ^ Descent of Ganges from heaven and Akshaya Patra
  22. ^ Gangotri and Yamunotri temples open on Akshay Tritiya[1][2][3]Abhijit Muhurat[4][5]
  23. ^ "Akshay Tritiya". Ganesha Speaks. 4 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Significance of Akshaya Tritiya". Gaurannga Institute for Vedic Education (GIVEGITA). Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  25. ^ "It's Akshayya Tritiya today". DNAIndia. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  26. ^ "Akshaya Tritiya Significance". TourismOnlineIn. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  27. ^ "Jewellery industry heading for 2nd consecutive sales washout on Akshaya Tritiya". 11 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Akshaya Tritiya story and history". wellstuff. 29 April 2022. Retrieved 29 April 2022.